7 Habits of Highly Effective Emails
By Marcia Jedd
Witty, delightful, engaging, sexy. It's not so easy to sound that way when corresponding with one of your matches by email. But if you take the time to plan your prose, you can sound like the great tiger, intellect or catch that you are. Consider these dos and don'ts when writing:
Above all, women want a straight shooter. "The fact that he was a few inches shorter than he said in his profile was disappointing. But it spoke volumes: He didn't have confidence or esteem enough to be truthful about his height," recalls Elizabeth, 39, a Newark-based flight attendant. In the end, honesty lets you shine because it shows who you really are.
Email etiquette can be far more obvious to women than you might think. Spell checking, good punctuation and avoiding slang set a charming online tone. So does asking initial questions which aren't overly personal, allowing enough response time (many don't check email on weekends) and thoughtfully responding to questions.
Define your style
Your profile should scream "this is me" whether that's naming your hobbies, favorite sports team or revealing more about your attitudes and beliefs. Be specific. Listing your favorite author, interests or even dream-vacation destination will attract like-minded women moreso than the generic "I like movies, going to the beach and hockey."
Women need to build trust over time. Asking for a phone number or detailed personal information online right away is tantamount to rejection. "Men are so anxious to give out their number and want yours right away. I won't give them mine until I've been out a few times," says Peggy, 40, a Minneapolis ad executive.
Lying shows poor form and ultimately backfires. "In the competitive world of dating, it's natural to want to present ourselves as more than we are, but hey, be realistic," cautions Rebecca, 37, a Denver-based communications manager who met a guy who said he was an architect but really wasn't. Adds Peggy, "One guy said he was 42, then upon meeting him he said he'd be 50 in a few weeks. He said he lied in his profile because he wanted younger women to respond."
When corresponding with the lasses, err conservatively. Portraying yourself as a hopeless romantic or online Casanova nets next to nothing. Samantha, 35, an art director from Detroit, says she never responded when a guy responded to her ad with the line that she was so beautiful he booked the next flight out, suggesting she should pick him up at the airport.
What's more sexy than being your original self? If you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, then keep it to yourself. Admittedly, with the power of a web search these days, you can throw in an offbeat line or two from a poem, movie or song for spice. Just don't overdo it and use only what rings true for you.
Marcia Jedd is a freelance writer in Minneapolis who often covers relationship issues.
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